Mary Irvine: Relaxing at the Carrick Spa
Haven’t been in touch for a while. Have been heavily involved in the Alzheimer project about which I have previously written. We are now close to completion and a final report is in the pipeline. Also been involved with several ongoing minor projects as well as trying to find time to crack on with an account of my sojourn in Greece. Am off to Greece at the end of February for four weeks to work on these ‘memoirs’ – of Spetses – written in fictionalised form, I hasten to add!
However, I did recently take a day off and I haven’t felt so clean and relaxed for many a day…
A Relaxing Day at the Carrick Spa
I arrived shortly before noon. A pleasant general reception on the ground floor from where I was courteously directed to the first floor spa reception. Welcomed and booked in I was given a short tour of the facilities and shown how the lockers worked. Did get it wrong and opened one already in use. Great pair of boots in there, but definitely not my size! The owner of the boots hadn’t locked it properly. Future visitors, take note.
For the next two hours I availed myself of the several opportunities to relax. Experiencing each of the facilities from the tepidarium up to the roof-top hot tub where in
comfortable warmth I could absorb the calmness emanating from the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
Of the nine individual experiences available it is difficult to isolate a favourite as each provided a different feeling of well-being – perhaps the aroma room, the hammer or the hydro pool. My least favourite was the infra-red room but that was more because of the claustrophobic atmosphere I personally felt. It didn’t have, for obvious reasons, the windows on the scenery that some of the other rooms had.
Outside each room a notice was displayed, clearly stating the temperatures and the benefits of that experience, with advice on how long to spend there.
The various showers, advised between each experience, were an added bonus. I liked the tropical one.
Then it was time for the ‘light lunch’ described in my package. In a pleasant dining room I was offered a two course choice from an extensive menu, well thought out as it catered for eclectic tastes. I chose the King prawns and squid in batter with a Vietnamese sauce and lime. It was freshly cooked, the batter crisp throughout and a portion that would normally have sufficed for my normal lunch – if not dinner! But it was a special day so, on to the main choice- Shetland salmon, again a huge portion, with mussels served on a bed of baby new potatoes, cooked to perfection (not over-done),in a tarragon sauce. A meal to savour, indeed. I was then offered tea or coffee. On requesting filter coffee I was told it wasn’t available in the dining room but if I waited one would be sent up for me. Well, I wasn’t in a hurry but before you could spell cappuccino a large continental sized dish of coffee appeared.
Lizzie and Matthew were polite, efficient and friendly, making the lunch that little bit extra special. Compliments also to the staff who prepared the food. There were some thirty-five minutes before my treatment. I had deliberately not taken any distractions in the form of book/kindle, mobile so I chose to return to the unoccupied tepidarium where I could meditate in sight of the wonderful Scottish scenery, even though it was raining.
I then strolled along to the waiting area where I was met by Anna who led me to a well-planned, welcoming treatment room where a few minutes conversation confirmed my requirements. A detoxifying, full body massage with oil and salt was followed by a hot stone back massage. Just over an hour. An in-house shower removed the salt before the latter. The treatment was completed sympathetically, professionally and efficiently. Anna then left me to ‘revive’ in my own time. Resisting the temptation to go to sleep I did eventually leave the room to find Anna waiting with a cup of ginger tea and ready to escort me to the dimly-lit quiet room where I spent another thirty minutes on a comfortable recliner enjoying the refreshing tea.
All in all a day to remember and hopefully one that will be repeated – soon.
Cameron House, on Loch Lomond, Alexandria, G83 8QZ
This section: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene, Travel
- Public Lecture of the Publishing Scotland’s International Fellows Glasgow – review by Mary Irvine
- Mary Irvine’s blog: How authors relax or do they?
- Mary Irvine blogging about A Goodbye Lunch
- Writers’ Workshop Day at Fruin Farm, Nr. Helensburgh
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: A Sad Day – Murder of Martin Luther King Jr
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Open Mic Hits The Sticks
- The Magician by Mary Irvine
- The Square, Broomhill, Glasgow – Restaurant Review by Mary Irvine
- Mary Irvine’s blog: Writing about Greece and Byres Road Book Festival
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: PC Gone Mad, To Kill A Mocking Bird
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Another Musical Musing, October, 2017
- Leiper’s Attic at Cottiers Glasgow review by Mary Irvine
- Mary Irvine’s Blog:Merchant City Festival Outdoor Stage at the Tron 22.07.2017
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Review of ‘A Murder of Crows’ – A Debut Novel by Ian Skewis
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Time Out, Glasgow Women’s Library, St Louis Partick,July, 2017
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Anne and Mary’s Local Tales Review
- Mary Irvine’s Blog: Autumn Voices: Exploring creativity in later life & writing comp for over 60s.
- Ten Writers Telling Lies book and cd launch review by Mary Irvine
- Mary Irvine’s blog: Spa Day at the Carrick
- Mary Irvine’s blog: Lennox Heritage Society review talk in February, 2017